NAIROBI, Kenya, April 30 – Kenya will send a huge contingent of 195 athletes in 16 disciplines to the 20th Commonwealth Games to be held in Glasgow, Scotland from July 23 to August 3, with Rugby 7s being the only team sport.
At the same the country will send 121 to the second Africa Youth Championships set for May 22-31 in Gaborone, Botswana with athletics, the sport that won 11 gold medals from the last edition in Delhi, India 2010 commanding the lion share of the Glasgow slots.
Commonwealth Games chef-de mission, Stephen Arap Soi, added they will include 20 Paralympians the Scotland party.
“Federations are currently conducting their trials and the only team that has automatically qualified is the Rugby 7s team.
“The major Trials will be for athletics that will be held from June 5 to 7 this will give us an allowance of four days to do final entry by name,” Soi who is also National Olympic Committee of Kenya (Noc-k) assistant treasurer declared.
“We have a challenge in the number of elite athletes with disability since we had slotted 20 but since the International Paralympics Committee has informed us only 11 have qualified, we will have to finalize the details when the team enters residential training,” he added.
Kenya will be looking to better her record performance at the Club Games in Delhi where they finished ninth overall with 32 medals; 12 gold, 11 silver and nine bronze, with swimmer Jason Dunford and boxer Joshua Makanjio the only competitors to bag honours outside athletics.
Badminton, Cycling, Judo, Table Tennis, Lawn Tennis, Weight Lifting, Wrestling, Squash, Shooting, Elite athletes with disabilities and Triathlon are the other disciplines that will sent their talent to Scotland in national colours.
The team will report to camp on June 16 and depart for Glasgow in three batches with the first leaving on July 13.
Speaking at the same function, leader of delegation for the continental Youth Championships, Fridah Shiroya, said they will be sending a big team to Gaborone to better their 2010 returns in an event where Nigeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria and South Africa dominated the inaugural edition in Rabat, Morocco.
“The teams have already been selected by various federations and will enter to camp from Monday next week at Nairobi’s YMCA. The teams are in very high spirit since they are young and we expect them to perform well.
“We have got release letters for some of them and we are hoping those who will not be able to come to camp will be able to train wherever they will be according to their requirements, so we are set for Gaborone,” the Noc-k treasurer announced.
Stars expected to make a statement at the games include World junior 3000m champion; Mercy Chebwogen and Africa Youth 800m champion Robert Biwott.
The Africa Youth Games that will serve as a qualifier for Nanjing Youth Olympics, which will be held in China in August.
Gaborone will cater for 2,500 young athletes participating in 20 sport disciplines for athletes aged between 14-18 years.
Already the International Sport Federations of athletics, basketball and swimming have agreed to use the event as a qualifying tournament for the Summer Games.
Kenya will be fielding 45 athletes and nine officials for the Youth Olympics as they are set to depart August 30.